Oscar de la Renta left an indelible impact in the world of fashion, setting a high standard for first ladies’ formal wear. The Washington Post’s Robin Givhan revisits some of de la Renta’s most famous creations. (Video: JulieAnn McKellogg and Alice Li/The Washington Post)

Oscar de la Renta, the famed designer who died at age 82 on Monday, was known for more than just creating legendary gowns. The fashion icon also made an impact with his words of wisdom about fashion, style, women and what it really all meant. Here are some of his best:

I design clothes for women to wear. I am not interested in shock tactics. I just want to make beautiful clothes.”

Walk like you have three men walking behind you.”

Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.”

There is no sound more feminine than a woman in a taffeta dress.”

I’ve lived every day to the fullest, and I’ve had a marvelous time. I’ve tried to be nice to the people I care about, and ignore the ones I don’t. I enjoy what I’ve done.”

The qualities I most admire in women are confidence and kindness.”

Fashion is about the present and the immediate future. I think in terms of now.”

Being well dressed hasn’t much to do with having good clothes. It’s a question of good balance and good common sense.”

Any girl from any walk of life dreams of that special dress, and I try to make that dream a reality for her.” (In re: designing Amal Alamuddin’s wedding gown.)

I don’t really know how to do casual clothes.”

I hate pretty. It’s a very empty word. It gives a bad name to beauty.”

What women have achieved in the last 50 years, I wish men would have achieved in the last 100.”


Famed fashion designer Oscar de la Renta was born in the Dominican Republic and made a name for himself in the 1960s. Spanish language media say he had been battling cancer for years. He was 82 years old. (Video: Reuters)

Obituary: Oscar de la Renta, fashion designer, dies at 82

Gallery: The life and fashions of Oscar de la Renta

Ten memorable Oscar de la Renta gowns